Author D.B. Reynolds Release Party and $50.00 Amazon Gift Card Contest LIVE Here!

Lucas by D.B. ReynoldsWriting Lucas was incredibly fun. He’s so completely without boundaries, and takes such joy in life, that I felt I could do anything I wanted with him. It was incredibly freeing as a writer, and I miss him already. Here’s a little taste of my new favorite vampire, Lucas.

THE BADLANDS of SOUTH DAKOTA . . . haunting landscapes, legendary outlaws, and . . . vampires?

LUCAS DONLON, Vampire Lord, is one of the most powerful vampires in North America and beyond. Charming and irreverent to his friends and lovers, he enjoys everything about his life as a vampire. But when a neighboring lord makes the mistake of declaring war, he quickly discovers that Lucas is every bit as lethal as he is charming.

KATHRYN HUNTER doesn’t care about powerful vampires or their wars. Her baby brother is missing and she will do anything to find him, even if it means going against both her FBI bosses and the local vampire lord. But Lucas Donlon has other plans for the lovely FBI agent who’s landed on his doorstep.

Waging war against their enemies and each other, Lucas and Kathryn will risk everything to keep the most deadly vampire war in hundreds of years from engulfing every vampire, and human, in North America.

An Excerpt from Lucas, Vampires in America, Book Six

“Quantico, Virginia

Special Agent Kathryn Hunter lay on her stomach in the dirt, the butt of her Sig Sauer 3000 rifle snugged into the curve of her shoulder. She leaned into the Leupold scope and settled the crosshairs on her target. Data ran through her brain, was processed, and let go. Like all snipers, she tended to step out of the moment when she was shooting, focusing only on the target, the shot. She concentrated on taking shallow, even breaths, her entire world reduced to what she could see beyond the crosshairs.

It was a relatively easy shot. Eighty yards, less than the length of a football field. A slight breeze was blowing, but at this distance, that wasn’t enough to matter. The target was stationary, but armed. Not a problem. Law enforcement snipers were trained to go for the head shot, to immediately incapacitate a subject holding a weapon, if necessary. It was a shot she’d made a hundred times on the range. No hesitation, no nerves. Just line up the shot and take it.

Kathryn heard the go-ahead come over her radio. She exhaled slowly and squeezed the trigger.

“And bye-bye terrorist! Kathryn, baby, you are the best!” Eduardo Saver, her friend and the day’s range supervisor, said over the radio, confirming what she already knew. She’d hit the target dead on. His enthusiastic reaction wasn’t exactly protocol, but there were only the two of them on the range this afternoon, so he’d gone for friendship instead of professionalism. Kathryn grinned as her heart started pumping again, and she felt the rush of adrenaline begin to fade. Her body didn’t care that this was just another practice shoot in a long line of practices. Once she got behind the scope, everything narrowed down to the crosshairs and the annihilation of her target.

“Thanks, Eduardo,” she said as he came up behind her.

“You going out with the rest of us later?” Eduardo asked. “Time to let some hair down, chica. All work and no play . . .”

Kathryn turned as she sat up from her prone position, her hand going self-consciously to her hair in its tight French braid. She forced a laugh. “Maybe. The usual place?”

“Naturally,” Eduardo said. He looked down at her with a leering grin. “I’ll be waiting.”

“Uh huh.” She rolled her eyes at him. Eduardo wasn’t interested in her that way. She was too tall and too pale for his tastes. “I’ve got to stow this,” she said, indicating her weapon. “But maybe I’ll see you there.”

She stood, reaching automatically for the cell phone on her belt and switching it back on. It was always off during range exercises. The phone vibrated almost at once, and she pulled it off her belt one-handed, frowning at the message she saw there.

“Problem?”

She looked up. “I don’t think so. It’s Penelope Bateman, my brother’s agent. He’s on one of his solitary photo adventures, and she’s probably just calling with a message from him. He does that sometimes if he can’t get a hold of me.”

Eduardo touched her arm to get her attention. “See you at the bar.”

“Yeah,” she agreed absently, giving him a brief glance before returning to the call log on her phone. Penny had called several times in the last hour.

She placed her weapon on the wood plank table and popped the magazine, checking automatically to be certain the weapon was empty. She then wiped it down and used a soft brush on the scope lenses before placing it in the custom-made hard shell case. After closing the case, she made a few notes in her field book, mostly range and target information, since shooting conditions had been as close to ideal as they ever got. As she wrote, she bemoaned, as always, that so far she’d never had a chance to fire her weapon anywhere except on the range. She was a skilled shooter, but since 9/11, the FBI’s emphasis was all about terrorism. She spent far more of her time sitting at a desk than she did out in the field, and had begun to regret the Quantico posting she’d been so excited about a few years ago.

She sighed and tucked the field book away, then pulled out her cell phone and hit the call back on Penny’s last message.

“Kathryn!” Penny answered almost before the phone had stopped ringing the first time.

“What’s up, Penny, did you–”

“Something terrible’s happened! Danny’s missing!”

Two Weeks Later

Near the Minnesota/Wisconsin Border

The huge SUVs were three black blurs of speed as they roared through the night. Lucas Donlon sat in the middle seat of the second SUV, listening to the chatter of his vampires, both around him and through his headset for those in the other trucks. They were hyped and ready for action, almost too hyped after the hours of travel to get this far. Even with a private jet, it took time.

But they were here now, and Lucas was with his warriors in feeling the rush of impending battle, the pump of adrenaline as he prepared to fight to the death. It was a rare thing in this civilized world, with its laws and cameras everywhere. But tonight’s confrontation would mark the beginning of a war between vampires–something this continent hadn’t seen in nearly a century. And how better to start a war than with the death of a traitor? Alfonso Heintz didn’t know they were coming for him, but he would soon, and his fear would taste just as sweet as his blood. Maybe better.

The trucks rolled down the unlit rural roads, running dark. The vampire drivers didn’t need the lights to see by, and Lucas didn’t want to advertise his presence to anyone yet, human or vampire. Not until he had his prey cornered. Alfonso Heintz was sworn to Lucas, but had recently moved his entire household just over the border into Wisconsin, near the small college town of River Falls. It was no more than 30 miles from Minneapolis, but crossing the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin took him out of Lucas’s Plains Territory and into the territory of Lucas’s enemy, the Lord of the Midwest, Klemens.

Had Lucas needed it, Heintz’s move over the border would have confirmed the vampire’s guilt. But he already knew the vampire was guilty and needed no more evidence. In truth, if the traitor had known his betrayal had been discovered, he’d have moved much farther than a few miles over the border. As if a few miles, or a few thousand miles, would ever stop Lucas from exacting the justice he was due. This was war. Boundaries no longer mattered.

But whether or not Heintz realized he’d been discovered, he would surely have a guard or two on lookout. Unfortunately for Heintz, most of the vampires hiding away with him were also sworn to Lucas, a fact that he clearly didn’t fully appreciate, in terms of its ramifications for security. Lucas could drop any vampire sworn to him with nothing more than a thought. It was likely, of course, that one or two of Klemens’s people would be in the house tonight, and they’d require close up killing. But then, Lucas had no intention of winning this battle from a distance. He intended to punish the traitors in a very up close and personal fashion. In fact, he hoped Heintz and his fellow miscreants put up one hell of a fight, because Lucas and his people were ready to rock and roll.

The target house was big and wide, a two-story clapboard with a long, covered front porch. The building was completely dark when the SUVs skidded on the light snow covering the dirt patch of a front yard. It appeared empty, but the large number of cars and trucks parked around back told a different story. Lucas sent a small tendril of power creeping into the house and found thirteen vampires, all wide awake and jittery with nerves. By now, Heintz and his people knew Lucas had arrived, and they were probably wishing they’d hidden themselves a lot better than they had.

Lucas reached forward and clapped his lieutenant on the shoulder, where he sat in the front passenger seat. “Let’s be polite, Nick. I’m sure Heintz and his minions will be excited as hell to receive a visit from their rightful lord and master.”

Nicholas laughed and issued a few terse commands into his throat mike. The doors popped open on all three SUVs, and black-clad vampires poured out, deploying quickly to surround the house. Every one of them was a highly trained and powerful fighter. By virtue of their vampire blood, they were weapons unto themselves, but they also carried whatever human weapons they preferred, from 9mm handguns to compact submachine guns. And no doubt a knife or three thrown into the mix.

Lucas himself carried no weapon other than the power which made him one of the most feared vampires in North America–a vampire lord, ruler of the Plains Territory. Thousands of vampires literally lived and died at his command. Including Alfonso Heintz. Traitor or not, Heintz was still beholden to Lucas for every breath he drew, every beat of his heart. Klemens might have used Heintz, but he hadn’t offered his protection, hadn’t taken his oath of fealty. Which meant if Lucas wanted, he could have shriveled the unfaithful bastard’s heart in his chest without ever leaving South Dakota.

But where was the fun in that?”

Books in the Vampires of America series in the order they should be read:
Raphael
Jabril
Rajmund
Sophia

Duncan
Lucas

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D. B. Reynolds Reviews and Events at Bitten by Books
http://www.dbreynolds.com/
https://twitter.com/#!/DBReynoldsWrite
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66 comments

  1. Robert L. Stubbs Jr.

    What kind of Vampires are these in your stories as they can vary so much?

    • Hi Robert. My vamps are the classic vamp, which means they sleep all day and drink human blood to survive, They can’t go out in sunshine, and they’re extremely aggressive and territorial, and very possessive when it comes to anything or anyone they consider theirs. No soul searching regrets for my guys. They embrace what they are, and love the power they get from being Vampire. They’re also gorgeous and sexy, of course! :)

  2. Hi D.B.,
    my question is

    What was your favorite scene to write in this book and what was the hardest?

    • Hi Elaing8!

      My favorite scene was the art gallery scene with Lucas and Kathryn. There was some nice verbal byplay and it was kind of a turning point in their relationship. The most difficult scenes are always the battle sequences, especially, in this book, the final showdown in Chicago. It’s important to get all of the details right, and keep the various POVs in sync with one another.

      DBR

  3. my next question:

    What cover in this series is your favorite?

    • The cover artist at ImaJinn Books works hard on my covers, putting up with an awful lot from me. I like all of my covers, but my favorite is the one from the Vignettes. It’s sexy and blue!

  4. Do you have a favorite of the vampires you have written?

    • Hi Sheryl,

      I love all of my vampires, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Rajmund because I think he’d be the most fun to spend an evening with. But now, Lucas has stepped up there, too, so I guess I’ll have to spend my evening with both of them. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. :)

      DBR

  5. First I want to say HELLO :) I am a big fan of the series and my question would be what is the plan how many books are going to be in the series. I understand that for these guys is hard to be friends when they have their own territory, so are we going to have more or is there going to be a spin off from this series to something new? I apologize if this was already answered somewhere and I missed it.

    • Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for loving my vampires! To answer your question, the series is currently contracted to 8 books, but we’re already in discussions for more. The books are likely to take up a new story arc with all of the existing Vampire Lords facing challenges for their territories. New vampires, both good and bad guys, will be introduced, but there are only 8 territories in North America, and that won’t change.

      DBR

  6. Hello! I, too, am a big fan of the Vampires in America series. I have them all except for Lucas but soon hope to have that one as well. And my question isn’t about Lucas but about the character Cynthia. Why Cynthia is so dead set against marriage to Raphael?

    • Hi LM!

      Cyn’s experience with marriage is strongly colored by her parents’ marriage, and then all of the bad marriages she witnessed as a private investigator. She also has some pretty severe abandonment issues left over from her mother’s seemingly careless departure, and her father’s emotional neglect. Also, she and Raphael are “mated” in the Vampire way, which is pretty powerful. Cyn believes commitment comes from the heart, not a marriage contract. :)

      DBR

  7. Yet another book I need to add on my TBB list!

  8. Is Juro going to have his book? He is an intriguing character and I would love to see him find his girl :)

  9. Hello Ms. Reynolds – I’ve read all your books, incl. the Vignettes. Big fan here :) Can’t wait for the next one.. My question: any thoughts about writing another book at one point that focuses again on Cyn and Raphael? (still my top favorite couple)?

    • Hi Ulrike,

      To answer your question … Yes! Assuming the series continues beyond the 8 contracted books (and it probably will) there will definitely be a new Cyn and Raphael book! :)

      Thank you for loving my Vampires!

      DBR

  10. What are some things that haven’t been done yet with vampires that you’d like to write in the future, or read other authors exploring?

    • Hmmm, there’s an awful lot of vampire stories out there, though I’m sure some author will come up with a new and unique twist. Hopefully not one that sparkles. ;) I still have stories to tell about my vampires, and I’m really interested in exploring some other types of paranormal creatures, especially shifters like wolves and cats.

      Thanks, John!

      DBR

  11. Great excerpt! Lucas is an intriguing character.

  12. I’m so excited for this book! I hate to say it, but I think I’m more excited about this one than Duncan. O.O

    • That’s okay, Danni! Lucas and Duncan are two very different kinds of male. Both beautiful and sexy, for sure, but I can see how they’d appeal to very different women.

      Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it.

      DBR

  13. Awesome excerpt! As an avid reader I’m always looking for new material. Sounds like a great a wonderful new series for me to add to my Christmas list. Thanks so much :)

  14. Do you enjoy reading all genre and which would you say is your favorite? I stick mostly to PNR. Thank you.

    • Hi Viki,
      I read across several genres, a lot of PNR, but I also enjoy Romantic Suspense and some Contemporary Romance. I read outside the romance genre,too, with lots of suspense/thrillers, like Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp series, Mark Greaney’s Gray Man, or John Gilstrap’s Jonathan Grave books, all of whicih I love. And then there’s my first love, which is Science Fiction, and some Fantasy, too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      DBR

  15. Vampire artists like to add a quirk to their vampires to make them their own. What quirk did you add to yours to make them stand out from other authors’ vampires?

    • Hi Raonaid, A couple of quirks, I think. One is that my vampires are definitely not dead, they’ve been infected with a virus-like symbiote. The not dead part isn’t unique to me, though.

      I also added the idea that the lesser vampires are literally dependent on their Vampire Lord for survival. Its his (or her) power that keeps them alive, and the Vampire Lord has a connection to every vampire under his rule. He can reach out with a thought and stop the heart of any of his vampires.

      And one other thing, you’ll find my vampires much more violent and bloodthirsty than most in this genre. My vampires hark back to the classic vampire of horror tradition. They’re aggressive and territorial, and when crossed can be quite violent and ruthless, regardless of whether their enemy is another vampire or a human.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      DBR

  16. Sounds like an exciting read!

  17. If you had the silvertongue ability (think inkheart) what would be the first book you’d read and what would you read out?

    • Wow, good question! I had to think about this one. There are so, so many books but it came down to either Nalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation, because I want a cat changeling of my very own, or Kresley Cole’s Pleasure of a Dark Prince, ‘cuz I’ll take a Lykae, too. :)

      • I know, pretty shallow, huh? I could have gone for profound, some great historical tome seeking the secrets of the universe, or at least human society … but I went for raw pleasure instead. :D

  18. I have read all of the series including the vignettes and love them. You are one of my personal favorite authors and I anxiously await the next installments. Thank you so much for Lucas!

  19. I absolutely loved Lucas. You’re books are on auto-buy!

  20. I especially enjoy the inter action between the different Vampires..knowing how difficult it is for them..but i also am fascinated by the varied characters that surround and serve them..and i alway want more detailed information of their daily lives .. a technical question i have often wondered why so many books seem to be in the magic 350 or so page length…is this something set by publishers ? …….needless to say i am much happier reading 500 to 700 pages when it come to these Boys (Vampires ) as i like to call them
    Looking forward to more Vignettes …I seldom laugh out loud when reading but some of the mates shopping scenes were so funny….

    • Thanks, Sydney! I had fun with that shopping vignette. The women are so much easier with each other than all those prickly males! About the book length, yes, my publisher likes me to keep it around 110,000 words. I think it goes back to when books were only in paper–has something to do with the cost of printing, I think. That’s less relevant with ebooks, but paper is still very much a factor in sales, so they like to keep it around 110K.

      Thanks for loving my Vampires! I truly appreciate it.

      DBR

  21. This looks like an intriguing series! Haven’t read many vampire stories, except in some m/m here and there…

  22. I haven’t read any of your books but they look really good. I was checking this out on amazon and saw good reviews. I did not see any of your books available in audio. Do you think they ever will be or would they “read” well in audio form?

    • I get requests for audio books, and my publisher’s looking into it, but I don’t see it happening in the near future. Someday, maybe, though. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Joani!

      DBR

  23. Hi D.B.

    Looking forward to Lucas.

    Do you read for enjoyment the same genre you write?

    • Hi Koren,

      Yes, I read a lot of PNR, but also thriller/suspense, romantic suspense, science fiction … I pretty much read across the fiction spectrum. Our house is filled with books. We keep giving them away, but more just keep coming in. I’m so grateful for my Kindle and my Nook. Otherwise, there might not be any room left for US! LOL

      DBR

  24. Love the premise to your story, sounds like you have a really strong heroine. How would you describe her? Is she based on anyone you know? Yourself perhaps?

    • Kathryn is strong because she’s had to be. She had responsibility thrust on her at a very young age, but it’s left her unwilling to take risks, especially with her heart. She’s also smart and confident, although perhaps less so when it comes to romantic endeavors, because, having taken responsibility for others for so long, she wants to live her own life for a while. And, no, she’s not based on anyone I know. She’s a compilation of all the strong, intelligent women I’ve met in my life.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      DBR

  25. Do you have a favorite story world other than your own?

  26. How do you think your characters would fare if dropped in it?

    • I don’t have one favorite world, but many. Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling world, Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark, Ilona Andrews’ world with Kate Daniels and Curran, and so many others! As for my guys, they’d do just fine. They’re tough as nails and take no prisoners!!

      DBR

  27. Have my copy of Lucas right here on my desk, but am saving him for some uninterrupted time. Apart from Raphael, of course, I favor Raj as well. You say you’re contracted for eight books? Any hints as to what’s coming up in the future?

    • Hi Donna!

      Raj is my personal favorite, too! Although I have to say that Lucas has now joined him at the top. He’s such a sweetheart. ::sigh::

      Yep, contracted for eight books, which means we have two more Vampire Lords to meet. #7 will be ADEN, whom you’ll meet at the very end of LUCAS. He’ll rule the Midwest. And after Aden will come the final North American territory, which is Mexico. Not sure who he’ll be yet, but I can pretty much guarantee he’ll be sexy. LOL After that, my publisher and I are considering a new story arc for the guys, but it’s not finalized, so mum’s the word.

      Thank you for loving my Vampires, Donna!

      DBR

  28. Sounds like a great read that I definitely need to check out.

  29. I keep thinking about the Raphael as the father of them all. He has that father figure, not just the ruler. Yes he is strong, powerful and hiding his love for those who belong to him. So seeing him in that way is there some magic going to happen that he and Cyn are going to have a baby? I know that everything we know makes it impossible, but to be honest that man would be an amazing father. It’s obvious that he is my favorite :)

  30. I like the sound of this couple. Kathryn sounds like a character I can relate to, while Lucas appeals to me. I’ve always enjoyed vampire stories!

  31. A thought…would Alaska or Hawaii ever be included in your writing territory ? too small or far away ? ….I love the idea of you writing about Shape-shifters…who said it ? Make it happen..sorry but i’m a demanding fan ! You make me want to write ..( not going to happen ..ha ha )..

    • Hawaii is officially part of Raphael’s territory, but there aren’t too many vamps there. As for Alaska, the land of the midnight sun isn’t too conducive to vampires! Besides, Sherrilyn Kenyon pretty much wrote the book on vampires in Alaska with her wonderful Dance With the Devil and Zarek, who will always be my favorite Dark Hunter.

      DBR

  32. Why did you choose this setting for your vampire story?

    • I wanted my vampires to live in the real world, wanted my readers to believe they just might turn the corner some night and find a charismatic vampire waiting for them. As for this specific book, and the South Dakota setting, I wanted a cowboy vampire, and Lucas was definitely the guy!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      DBR

  33. I was just about to ask about South Dakota! There are lots of places in the US for cowboys- any reason why there specifically?

    • It’s all about the Vampire Lord territories, Bethany. The Rockies and everything west is Raphael’s. The South–which includes Texas and all those horse breeding icons like Kentucky–was already an established territory from JABRIL. And I needed a Vampire Lord for the Plains States, because I wanted Lucas’s territory to be next to Raphael’s. South Dakota seemed the most likely state for him to have settled, it fit him somehow. Plus, I loved the Badlands as a setting. :)

      DBR

  34. I so want this series does it come in a e-book set?

  35. Love the excerpt. I am not up to Book 6 yet but I think I need to get there faster!

  36. When writing what is your favorite part of the story?

  37. I’m a bit confused as to which is the first book-Raphael or Jabril. I see you list Raphael first which came out 4/09 but the reviews read as if it’s the second book and Jabril is the first. What gives?

  38. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

  39. Can’t wait to read this book :-)